The Pre-Inconvenience Rapture

Among those with an interest in end-time prophecy, there are a few different schools of thought. First you can break them down into the following categories:

  • Pre-Millenial (we are living prior to the Millenium.)
  • Post-Millenial (the Millenium already happened; or the Messiah won’t return until after it.)
  • Amillenial (there’s no literal Millenium and Biblical references to it are purely symbolic.)

In the pre-Millenial camp there are differing opinions about when the rapture (“gathering up,” “harpazo” in the Greek, “rapturo” in the Latin) will take place–if it will take place at all. Those who believe it will literally happen, until recently, have been broken down this way:

  • Pre-Trib
  • Mid-Trib
  • Post-Trib

Based on my own experience, I consider the mid-trib camp the smallest. The term means the rapture will occur in the middle of the Great Tribulation, but as it is popularly used it is technically a misnomer. What people mean by “mid trib” is that the rapture will occur in the middle of Israel’s “70th Week,” the last half of which is the 3 & 1/2 year Great Tribulation. So technically it is pre-trib/mid-week.

I never used to encounter post-tribbers much, but I have quite a bit in recent years. They believe in a rapture at the end of the Great Tribulation.

“Pre-tribbers” believe the rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation, but that label is consistently applied to those who believe the rapture will occur before the “70th Week.”

Why the confusion? Well, the Revelation given to John details the 70th Week first overtly prophesied by Daniel, and so many refer to the Week as the “Tribulation Period.” I’m guilty of this myself. Many erroniously apply the label “Great Tribulation” to the entire 70th Week.

Sloppy terminology is a problem sometimes–like how we refer to all Israelites as “Jews,” even when they’re from Naphtali, Gad, Asher, etc. and not from Judah.

I’ve recently come across the term “pre-wrath.” From how one proponent spoke of it in context, it sounded like just another term for “post-trib.” However, after searching online for it, it seems the pre-wrath camp believes that all the trumpet and bowl judgements occur exclusively in the second half of Israel’s 70th Week. Those judgements are the wrath they are referring to, so their position sounds, technically, pre-trib/mid-week.

I’m going to muddy the waters by introducing yet another camp, which is a huge subsection of the pre-trib school of thought. I’m gonna call them “pre-inconvenience.”

This label should be self-explanatory, but I’ll define it just to be careful.

This is a pre-trib version of eschatology based on wishful thinking, and/or the assumption (especially among American Christians) that “it can’t happen here.” It already had a powerful appeal even before Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins made it a household concept with their “Left Behind” series.

The assumption is that the status quo is ironclad right up until the rapture. Your comfortable white picket fence existence will continue unmolested and you won’t have to suffer or endure persecution (the way Christians have since the First Century) until Jesus comes to rescue us.

It’s pretty amazing so many people cling to this assumption. Or it would be amazing if historical ignorance and pop culture brain-numbing wasn’t at epidemic proportions.

There is no Biblical support for this assumption. Christians have been fed to lions, butchered by gladiators, crucified, burned alive, drawn and quartered, beheaded, starved and tortured to death. Things like this are still happening to the body of Christ in parts of the world. Was there a rapture prior to the Turkish Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition, the Black Death, the Armenian genocide, the Spanish Flu, the Holocaust (remember that the Jews weren’t the only victims), Stalin’s purges or Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution?

Jesus says the Great Tribulation will be worse than any period of suffering the world has ever seen, and there is evidence that the Church will be evacuated prior to it (there’s also some evidence that could be used to argue against that, but that’s not my point here). But we know just from the sample of historic tribulation cited above that life can get pretty unbearable on this side of the Great Tribulation. Since Jesus said the world will hate us like it hated Him, and that we’ll be blessed for the persecution we’ll suffer, what is your counterargument to support your assumption that life will be all sunshine and puppies right up until the 70th Week?

Author: Elijah Dispatched

I never doubted the existence of God. I thank my parents for that. Even so, most of my life could be summed up as a shameful rebellion against Him. Still, even when living like a reprobate heathen, I still occasionally studied the Bible. I found it just as confusing and seemingly contradictory as most people, yet I could also discern there was power in it, and truth beyond my finite reckoning. After finally admitting to my Creator, "You are God and I am not," my study of the Bible became a bit more intensive. I have learned much, and will learn much more. I plan on sharing some of that here.

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